I'm less concerned about the Cardinals' lopsided loss Saturday night in Colorado with I am concerned about the way the game went down.
Before the first pitch was thrown I was deeply concerned about the effect the thin air of Denver would have on St. Louis starter Jaime Garcia's breaking pitches, which are the key to his success. The humidor at Coors field might keep the baseballs from drying out and, subsequently, flying out at a record pace. But the mile high air is still a serious handicap for a guy like Garcia -- or like Kyle Lohse and Mike Hampton before him -- who counts on his curveball to get outs.
Those fears were confirmed when Garcia, whose breaking ball didn't bit all night long, got pounded for six runs in the first inning. And then he was left in to get pounded for ANOTHER six earned runs.
If I was a major league skipper, I would do anything I could to keep a curveballer off the mound in Denver. I understand that it's difficult to manipulate your rotation enough to skip Garcia's turn. But, for Pete's sake, when things weren't going well why leave him out there to get killed.
I am hopeful that Garcia's mechanics and/or his confidence are messed up because of the 12 runs he gave up on 11 hits over 3 1/3 innings.
Ironically, mop up man Ryan Franklin, who has been blasted just about every time he's toed the rubber this season, relieved with 2 2/3 scoreless innings. He gave up two hits and no walks while striking out three.
The Cardinals scored a few cosmetic runs in an eighth inning rally centered on Tyler Greene's ground rule double. But they were never really in the game.
Cardinals Star of the Game: Jon Jay had three hits in five at bats to raise his season batting average to .350.
Cardinals Play of the Game: Greene's RBI ground rule double.
Lowlight: The sacrifice of Garcia who lost his first decision of the season to fall to 5-1. He's been so consistently good, however, that his ERA remains a very good 3.28 even after giving up 11 earned runs in an abbreviated outing.